The strange thing about these types of radio is how dependant they can be on line of sight verses 'normal' condition. By normal, I'd say around the home or outdoors with trees etc surrounding you. In these conditions, the range is pretty limited but the radio is fine. This isn't due to this radio, it's a fact concerning the frequency that it works on. So for normal use, this radio is good, although I get the feeling that the case would crack if you dropped it and receive audio quality is OK, I'd say. Quite a bit of noise accompanies even a strong signal, but then again, it's not hi fi and I can hear what's being said. It's just that I have been using some other units that are no longer available until now and they were much quieter on receive. Not a big problem though, it communicates fine.
Here's the surprise though. I live on the North Downs (in Surrey) and managed to contact a radio ham down in Hastings on it. That's a long way and just shows you what the frequency can do if you get yourself up high, away from obstructions.
I would love a radio like this that enables you to connect a decent aerial for the home/base unit. That way, the range of both units at home would be increased, with really decent local communication available to you. Nothing fancy up on the roof - just a normal standard aerial would do it. Raising the aerial to a decent height really improves the range and how useful these devices are in normal surroundings. It would take one connection on the unit.
No big grumbles about this radio except that the received sound is a little 'noisy' but since it's just for speech/communication, then I guess it does the job fine.
It would be nice if the radio manufacturers took these devices a little more seriously though and provide us with a decent 'quality' of radio rather than these utalitarian radios that do the job but for some people, border on childrens' toys as a result of their styling. A quality radio with earpieces, even an external microphone option and the ability to connect an external aeirals would improve them so much.
Just what we needed, very easy to set up and the range in a rural area is very good, will make our trips in the motorhome away more of a pleasure being able to keep in touch with our travelling companions
My qualification is simply because of a poor experience with the previous set - the XTR446 where one of the hand sets jammed in "monitor" mode ( an experience shared by many according to internet reviews). I will happily return with an update in the fullness of time either to increase or decrease the star rating dependent on experience.
I was sorely tempted to move away from Motorola this time but the reception and performance prior to breakdown of the last set was fine - so judgement reserved.